Jon Batiste with his five Grammys (Image: EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT)
Jon Batiste has won album of the year for We Are at the Grammy Awards, giving him five trophies on a night that saw the 70s funk of Silk Sonic take both record and song of the year and newcomer Olivia Rodrigo claim three awards.
Batiste honoured the artists he beat. "The creative arts are subjective," he said during Sunday night's show. "Be you."
The multi-genre performer also won for his song Cry, the video for Freedom and his work with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on the soundtrack for Soul.
"I just put my head down and I work on the craft every day. I love music," he said.
R&B supergroup Silk Sonic took home four awards, including record of the year. Olivia Rodrigo collected three trophies, including the coveted best new artist honour.
The night's festivities grew grim when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressed the gathering with an update on the war and his numbers included children injured and killed. "Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos," he said.
"We are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music."
He ended by saying: "Tell the truth about the war on your social networks, on TV. Support us in any way you can any, but not silence. And then peace will come to all our cities."
John Legend then performed Free with Ukrainian exiles including singer-actress Mika Newton and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.
We’re honored to welcome Ukrainian musicians #SiuzannaIglidan, @Mika_Newton, and poet #LyubaYakimchuk to the #GRAMMYs.— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) April 4, 2022
Our hearts and our stage hold a special place for the people of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/CFV1bcR4hN
Rodrigo's win for best new artist putting her in esteemed company including Carly Simon, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Tom Jones, the Beatles and Billie Eilish.
A veteran of the High School Musical series, Rodrigo became the breakout music star of 2021, leading with her massive viral hit Drivers License and following with the single Good 4 U and the aching album Sour, which took best pop vocal album.
"This is my biggest dream come true," she said after her best new artist win. She thanked her parents for supporting her dreams, which at one point involved being an Olympic gymnast and quickly veered toward music.
Silk Sonic -- the all-star union of Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak -- opened the Grammys in Las Vegas with their high-energy, infectious fix of retro soul and funk by performing their 777. They returned to the stage a short time later to collect the song of the year trophy for Leave the Door Open.
The win helps Mars tie the record for most song of the year wins. He had previously won for 24K Magic.
By the time the televised show started, Jon Batiste has already taken home four Grammy Awards, including his first ever.
Batiste won for best American roots performance, best American roots song, best music video and tied with Carlos Rafael Rivera for best score soundtrack for visual media.
His song Freedom in the music video category beat out several other tough competitors, including Rodrigo, Lil Nas X and Eilish. All the awards were handed out during a pre-telecast ceremony.
Batiste entered the Grammys as the leading nominee with 11 nominations.
The Foo Fighters won three awards, but were not in attendance to pick up their trophies following the recent death of its drummer Taylor Hawkins.
An extended tribute to Hawkins played before the show's In Memoriam segment honouring artists and music industry figures who have died.
Eilish paid homage to Hawkins during her performance by sporting a black T-shirt with his image. She stepped onstage in an upside-down house along with her brother Finneas before stepping into the rain to perform the title track from her Happier Than Ever.
TJ Osborne, who came out as gay last year, fought back tears as he and his brother accepted a Grammy for the Brothers Osborne song Younger Me. He noted the song was inspired by his coming out.
The ceremony shifted from Los Angeles to Las Vegas because of rising COVID-19 cases and the omicron variant in January, with organisers citing "too many risks" to hosting the performance-filled show at the time.
Tony Bennett extended his record as the artist with the most traditional pop vocal album with 14 wins with Love for Sale, a duet album with Lady Gaga.
Key award winners
- ALBUM OF THE YEAR: "We Are" -- Jon Batiste
- RECORD OF THE YEAR: "Leave The Door Open" -- Silk Sonic
- SONG OF THE YEAR: "Leave The Door Open" -- Silk Sonic
- BEST NEW ARTIST: Olivia Rodrigo
- BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE: "Kiss Me More" - Doja Cat Featuring SZA
- BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM: "Sour" -- Olivia Rodrigo
- BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE: "Making A Fire" - Foo Fighters
- BEST RAP PERFORMANCE: "Family Ties" -- Baby Keem Featuring Kendrick Lamar
- BEST COUNTRY ALBUM: "Starting Over" - Chris Stapleton
- BEST MUSIC FILM: "Summer Of Soul" -- Various Artists
© AP 2022